exp4j: Version 1.0-riddler released

Added by Federico Vera almost 6 years ago

1.0 includes some interesting changes:

  • #752 Evaluation cache
  • #784 Expression based functions
  • #749 Serializable expressions
  • #756 Translatable messages
  • #785 #769 Lots of auxiliary functions
  • Several minor performance improvements

Next releases will be focused on bug fixes, documentation and examples.

exp4j: Version 0.6-RIDDLER released!

Added by Federico Vera almost 6 years ago

Differences with the original exp4j


There are some key differences with original exp4j, some of which will cause compatibility issues for advanced exp4j users (API differences radicate in some corner cases).

Core differences

This version of exp4j has several internal changes, which include but are not limited to: a naive simplifier, variable handling, extra functions, enums in code, constants as functions and token printing.

Naive Simplifier

The simplifier is a nice feature (Original discussion) when you have operations that can be resolved the use of variables, for instance consider the expression 2^x + 4 / 2 could be turned into 2^x + 2. Doesn't seem like much... does it? but when you use multiple formulas, lots of constants, multiple x values (i.e. plotting) this little difference comes in handy (First performance test).

The other nice trick is when using expressions like if(exp, v_true, v_false), the simplifier could remove the entire if block, for instance if(1 > 0 & 3 < 4, a * pi(), e()) will be converted to a * pi() (actually to if(1, a * pi(), e())... I'm still working on it...

Using the Simplifier

The simplifier is disabled by default, since it's really not needed when evaluating an expression only once (the simplifier needs to do one whole evaluation in order to work).

To activate it simply pass true to the builder:

    // by default ExpressionBuilder#build() is #build(false)
    Expression ex = new ExpressionBuilder("2^3 + 4 / 2").build(true);
    double result = ex.evaluate();

A little note

A simplifier should only simplify deterministic functions, so there's now a deterministic flag in each function creation (true by default). So if you have non-deterministic functions in your code, you'll need to change your function declaration from this:

    Function rand_deterministic = new Function("randd", 0) {
        public double apply(double... args) {
            // This will be an epic simplification fail
            return Math.random();

To this:

    Function rand_NOT_deterministic = new Function("randnd", 0, false) {
    //                                                This flag ^^^^^
        public double apply(double... args) {
            return Math.random();

This will be the most annoying thing for users with lot's of custom non-deterministic functions... although most users should not notice it (simplifier is disabled by default)

Internal variable handling

This isn't really an issue in itself, it makes exp4j gain some performance, avoid possible errors, and improve code readability. But doesn't honor the inmutable token filosophy of both exp4j and stack based calculators, so if you want to start hacking in this fork you should take this into account.

So... what's the change?

The real changes is d2d96fce and in 7f280988 you can see an example of one the pitfalls.

The original exp4j uses one token per variable, that's to say one token each time a variable is present in an expression which creates every time a variable is set, a state where the same variable has a different values in an expression. That's really a no go for me.

This version of exp4j uses the same token for each and every time a variable is present in an expression, which means that the moment you set a variable it was changed in every occurrence.

Enums instead of final int variables

This should not be a problem for anybody, but it's necessary to address the change -> 39dff556.

Token printing

Some might call this a debugging tool, others the reason of a 50% increase in the final jar size, I simply call it token printing... it allowed me create a view of the internal expression.

Why should you care?

Well the thing is, you probably won't, but there are some cases when using this sort of tools for research you need a way to audit the internals of the expression, not to try and guarantee result reproducibility, but to build extra trust in the expression that's being evaluated (also... it's an awesome debbuging tool!).

How to print the tokens?

The two basic ways are:

   Expression exp = new ExpressionBuilder("2x + 1").variable("x").build();
   String out1 = exp.toString();
   // out1 -> 2.0 x * 1.0 +
   String out2 = exp.toTokenString();
   // out2 -> NUMBER[2.0] VARIABLE[x] OPERATOR[*] NUMBER[1.0] OPERATOR[+]

Constants as functions

We finally got to the change that will annoy most users and it's the change that will most probably break things. In the original exp4j the constants where declared as simply constants, in this version constants are declared as functions so for instance d * pi is now d * pi(), this isn't an extreme change, but the reasoning is: some times your variables can have the name of constants... since users are not expected to know each and every constant implemented in exp4j this can cause trouble.


All messages can now be translated, and have already been translated to Spanish.


All expressions are now Serializable!

Extra functions

Checkout the wiki pages for:


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